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The Thing – Details on the characters and plot of the prequel to John Carpenter’s classic

Posted by LiveFor on January 13, 2010

Details of the prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing are beginning to emerge. As we know it is going to be directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen and using a script by Eric Heisserer who rewrote the script by Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore. I am a huge fan of the original so I really want this prequel to be good.

The film will be a prequel set in the Norwegian Camp we see briefly in the original. Bloody Disgusting have a brief synopsis of the film which holds no surprises.

It begins when an alien spaceship is discovered far beneath the ice near a remote Antarctica outpost. We’re told that a group of scientists decide to thaw out a creature from inside that kicks off the mayhem at the camp. It is said to be a prequel

That’s essentially what we learnt in the original. What is more telling are the characters appearing in the film. SpoilerTV had the full casting list and there may be potential spoilers. The first big difference from the original is that there are women in the cast.

It appears that it will be a female lead called Kate Lloyd and there will be an R J MacReady type character in the shape of Sam Carter. Unfortunately, at the moment it all appears to be quite formulaic so it all depends upon the final script, performance and maybe most importantly, the effects. Will they be practical like the original or will it be CGI.

Here is the full character breakdown and again be warned there are huge spoilers on the plot – it tells you who lives, dies and who could be a Thing.

[KATE LLOYD] In her late 20s to early 30s, pretty, bright-eyed, intelligent, she’s a graduate of Columbia and a Ph.D. candidate in paleontology (the study of prehistoric life). On the recommendation of her friend Adam Goodman, Kate is tapped for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by Dr. Sander Halvorson to join his research team in Antarctica, where an extraordinary discovery has been made. Upon arrival, Kate soon finds herself at odds with Halvorson about how best to proceed with the discovery — an alien spaceship with a mysterious and sinister frozen THING found nearby — specifically whether to transfer the specimen undisturbed to a more appropriate facility for analysis, or, per Halvorson’s wishes, to drill into the specimen’s ice encasement for a definitive tissue sample. Kate’s misgivings about her involvement grow when Halvorson ignores her advice and collects his tissue sample — a critical error in judgment that ultimately frees the trapped organism and triggers a series of horrific incidents and attacks. Furthering her sense of isolation, most of the scientists at the site speak Norwegian, a language she doesn’t understand. Kate looks to her friend, Adam, for help stopping Sander’s obsession from getting them all killed, but eventually must take matters of life and death into her own hands. In the end, her only hope of survival is to join forces with Sam Carter, the chopper pilot who flew her team to the remote Norwegian base…LEAD (2)

[DR. SANDER HALVORSON] In his late 30s to early 50s, austere, scholarly and imperious, he’s a microbiologist from NYU who leads a science research team to Antarctica to help his old friend Edvard interpret and analyze an extraordinary discovery made beneath the ice. Sander, a brilliant scientist and a master of self-promotion, knows that his involvement in such an historic discovery will bring him fame and fortune. Blinded by ambition, he refuses to abandon the “project” even as the bodies pile up around him. He is annoyed when Kate, whom he considers more of an apprentice than an equal, disagrees with him and openly questions his decisions in front of the others…LEAD. Actor must be able to speak some Norwegian. (2)

[SAM CARTER] In his early 30s, rugged, handsome, blue-collar, he’s a helicopter pilot with a private charter service that transports personnel and supplies from McMurdo Station to remote research sites across Antarctica. Carter is a mercenary. He flies when he wants, where he wants, and he flies for one reason: money. But his resourcefulness, experience and get-it-done mentality make him indispensable. Arriving at Thule Station, he is the first to suspect something strange and dangerous is going on. Trapped there by faulty equipment, he becomes an unlikely ally of Kate’s — he reminds her (in temperament) of her father, now deceased, also a pilot. He and his co-pilot Jameson are nearly killed in a helicopter crash as they attempt to leave under less than ideal conditions. Carter must ultimately join forces with Kate to stop the THING’s rampage…LEAD (3)

[EDVARD WOLNER] In his mid 40s, gentle, erudite, loyal to a fault, this Norwegian geoscientist and his crew discovered an alien spaceship and a mysterious frozen THING buried in a deep crevasse in Antarctica. Edvard requested the assistance of his colleague Dr. Sander Halvorson and he’s pleased to see his old friend arrive at the site. Both men have stars in their eyes, knowing that their combined findings will bring them fame in the scientific community, but after Edvard loses two of his men to the terrifying THING, he’s ready to call it quits rather than risk more lives.sptv050769..SUPPORTING. Actor must speak Norwegian. (16)

[ADAM GOODMAN] In his early 30s, clever, brash, unapologetically ambitious, Adam comes to Antarctica as Halvorson’s research assistant. A friend of Kate’s since they were undergrads at Columbia, it is Adam who recommended her to Dr. Halvorson. Though his respect for Kate is genuine, ultimately, he is a likeable opportunist who believes his professional association with the esteemed Dr. Halvorson will advance his career. The trip to Antarctica appears, at first, to prove this theory correct. Unlike Kate, an idealist who makes decisions based on intuition and conscience, Adam is more of a pragmatist and a capitalist — in scientist’s clothing. As the circumstances turn more and more dire, Adam is forced to choose between ambition (Halvorson) or friendship (Kate). His survival hangs in the balance…SUPPORTING (2)

[DEREK JAMESON] In his early 30s, African American, well-built, he is Carter’s friend and co-pilot. This is Jameson’s last season in Antarctica. He’s moving to Florida and starting a jetboat business with his brother, a former big league prospect. The trip to Thule Station is just another flight for him, another day in the countdown before he leaves the South Pole. Trapped at the site with Carter when the helicopter malfunctions, Jameson eventually falls prey to the THING…SUPPORTING (3)

[JONAS] This Norwegian man in his early 40s, who speaks with a thick accent is part of Edvard’s crew. He’s the team documentarian who takes flash photographs of the alien spaceship and plays poker with Colin to blow off steam. When the Thing begins wreaking havoc, Jonas decides to get the hell out of there, but the rest of the group stymies that plan…SUPPORTING (18) Submit Scandinavian actors only.

[JULIETTE] In her early 30s, French, fluent in Norwegian, she was educated at the Oslo Geosciences Academy, and is one of the geologists who discovered the alien site in Antarctica. Sensing Kate’s frustration with the language barrier, Juliette befriends her, providing helpful translations and a kind smile among strangers. As the story escalates toward crisis, Juliette convinces Kate that her colleague Lars has succumbed to the THING — as a trick to conceal her own identity as the alien shape-shifter…SUPPORTING (17)

[COLIN] Around 40 years old, quirky and a bit cynical, he sews some seeds of doubt and suspicion among his new colleagues, Kate and Adam, and he plays poker with Jonas to blow off steam. Colin would rather commit suicide than be consumed by the THING…SUPPORTING (27) Submit British, East Indian, Spanish, Asian, etc, scientist types”

I can’t believe they have a character like Derek Jameson. The old cliché of him being on his last tour of Antarctica then being killed off. However, I do like the fact that Kate and Sam have an almost Father Daughter relationship. I doubt that will make it to the final cut and will probably end up as a romance, but I really like the different dynamic that would bring.

You could actually have Kurt Russell cameo in it as a voice on the radio and I bet you Sam Carter mentions MacReady’s name at some point.

As for who could star in the film I forsee Stellan Skarsgard being cast as one of the Norwegians! Apart from that I just don’t know who would work. They need proper actors, no action heroes and hopefully not too big a name so we don’t get distracted by the actors.

If you have read the character list who would you like to see play the various roles? What are your thoughts on the film? Would you want practical or CGI effects?

3 Responses to “The Thing – Details on the characters and plot of the prequel to John Carpenter’s classic”

  1. Total mistake – John Carpenter caught lightning in a bottle and this cannot possibly live up to that, especially with a cast list from the Big Book of Horror Stories

    • liveforfilms said

      It is all a bit generic isn’t it. I’d love to get hold of the Ronald Moore script and see how the characters were written in that one.

  2. anotherzen said

    So i’m a bit disappointed about the naming of the chars.. they havent really gotten out of their way to find typical Norwegian names, especialy if its set i the 80s? Atleast they could fix Halvorson to Halvorsen, pre-20th century names in a film from 2010 😛 Wolner is a curious name too, don’t believe i have ever seen it. Tho i don’t think Sander or Alexander was a popular name round the time Carpenters the Thing was made, it is now tho, and Edvard/Edvart is very common, the same with Jonas.

    I might be overly critical, but its the Thing they are fooling around with here, it needs to be handled with grace!

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